Fourth in a series of Micromaster Combiner reissues, SixBuilder is back. Originally released in Japan around 1992 in the Transformers: Operation Combination line, the Autobot SixBuilder fought with his Autobot brethren against the evil Battle Gaea.
Each SixBuilder component is packaged in the identical boxes similar to the Takara SCF line. Thankfully, they aren't random like the SCFs as there is a small hole in the front of the box with a number 1 through 6 showing through. There is a random element thrown into the mix as some of the toys are painted Constructicon green.
In addition to the individual toys, included in the box is a component to help assemble SixBuilder along with a small brochure featuring the instructions and bio for that individual toy along with a short story of SixBuilder and his evil counterpart.
Crushing his way out of his Stasis Pod comes Crush-Bull, the bulldozer of the team. Mostly a dark, sea foam-green, Crush-Bull has black detailing on his treads, grill, and roof and gold detailing on his engine block cover, which has an Autobot insignia stamped in the center. To transform, extend the rear section back and down, flip the shovel back and the front tread sections up, then flip the robot head up from the grill. Crush-Bull has the standard Micromaster articulation in the shoulders, hips and knees. No additional colors reveal themselves in this form, though his upper legs are black and his face is painted silver.
Next up is Digger, the steam-shovel that thinks he's a crane. Mostly yellow, Digger has black-painted windows and a light-gray steam shovel. The steam shovel section rotates 360 degrees and the arm portion is positionable in two places: at the base and near the end. Transformation is atypical for a Micromaster. Swing the front cab around 180 degrees and bring the arms forward. Digger has a little more color in robot mode with an orange torso and upper legs with silver highlights and face. The steam shovel can be positioned either behind him or above his head to give him a weapon (or a funny looking hat).
The red crane with black windows and light-gray crane arm is Ironlift. Although it looks as though he has six wheels, only four rotate. The crane, as with Digger, can rotate 360 degrees. The arm itself is positionable in three sections: the base, mid-way, and the hook. Transformation is identical to Digger's. In robot mode, Ironlift is mostly red and yellow, which clash a little bit, with silver highlights and face. Like other Micromasters, he can bend at the hips and knees and move his arms up and down.
Reminiscent of the Constructicon Scrapper comes the shovel-loader Gran-Arm. The design is an odd one in that the robot arms are clearly visible above the front wheels and the cab section is rather low in the rear, not a very good disguise. Gran-Arm is mostly orange with red highlights and a black-painted cab window. His shovel is on a hinge, so it can flip all the way over, covering the cab. To transform, extend the rear section of the vehicle back and up, swing the shovel all the way back, flip the head so it faces forward and move the arms forward. Gran-Arm's robot mode has a little more red to it with the chest detailing. His upper legs are black and his face, like the others in this team, is painted sliver. While having typical Micromaster articulation, his arms are severely limited in their range of motion due to the front wheels.
Rolling in to the front lines with supplies is Treader. A dark yellow dump truck, Treader has a gray bumper, grill, and windows with his front lights painted red. Transformation differs from the others in that you extend the rear section and then bring it down, underneath the cab. Flip the head up and the arms forward and you're done. In robot mode, Treader's head and lower torso are a lighter yellow and his kneecaps are painted red. He shares the same articulation and problems as Gran-Arm except that it's Treader's bumper that restricts his arm movement.
Bringing up the rear is Mixing. He shares the same primary color as Crush-Bull and features gold and silver highlights with black windows. Like Ironlift, not all of his wheels function. To transform into robot mode, extend the drum-section back and down and swing the arms forward. Mixing features a dark gray chest, red upper legs, head and missile launchers (on either side of the head). There is also silver highlighting on his torso as well as black outlines on his launcher tubes. As per usual, Mixing can bend at the knees and hips and bring his arms forward and back.
The parts that combine the individuals into SixBuilder also are used to form a jet that the Micromasters can ride. Attach the torso and upper legs together, slide the rifle in-between the upper legs, push the fists into the pegs on the sides of the torso and attach the feet to the fists. Place the robot head onto the top of the torso with the head facing back. There is a small peg in the center of the torso for you to stand Crush-Bull and Gran-Arm as the others lack the appropriate hole in their feet to stay in the cockpit.
To assemble SixBuilder, return the individual toys to vehicle mode and disassemble the jet into it's components keeping the head, torso, and upper legs together. Attach Treader to the right foot and Mixing to the left, though they can be interchanged, and attach the fronts of the vehicles to the knobs at the end of the upper leg sections. Flip the legs open on Digger and Ironlift and place bend them 90 degrees at the hips. Attach the right hand to Digger and the left to Ironlift, these are not interchangeable, and attach them to their corresponding shoulder connectors on the upper torso. Bend Crush-Bull in half and attach him to SixBuilder's back. Fold Gran-Arm's front half down 90 degrees and flip the shovel back. Attach him to the cavity in SixBuilder's chest to form the chest plate. Place the gun in either hand.
Combined, SixBuilder is a bright train wreck of colors, though he does have a handsome face for a robot. With yellow, red, blue, gray, and green coming at you in many directions, it's a wonder SixBuilder's enemies, and allies for that matter, aren't all color blind upon first meeting him. That aside, structurally speaking, SixBuilder is an impressive amalgam of construction vehicles, even more so than Devastator, though SixBuilder does have five points of articulation (neck, shoulders, and elbows) to Dev's two.
With the exception of the glaring color clash in it's combined mode, SixBuilder is a very nice toy. Each individual component, with exception of Gran-Arm looks great and the jet is a nice way to take care of the super robot kibble when not combined. Definitely pick this set up if you can.
Final Grade: A-
|Reviewer||Richard C. Mistron|
|Date||November 16th 2003|
|Score||(8 out of 10)|